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World Masters Games 2017 registrations closed

Tuesday 4 April, 2017

World Masters Games 2017 registrations closed

· All WMG2017 registrations are now closed
· Over 28,000 registered participants confirmed including close to 25,000 athletes
· More than 11,000 kiwis will take to the start line; including 6,700 from host city Auckland
· More than 16,000 participants are inbound from over 100 countries; including 7,000 Australians

With just over a fortnight until the start of World Masters Games 2017 (WMG2017), registrations for all sports have now closed, with almost 25,000 athletes from New Zealand and around the world registered to compete.

Chief Executive Jennah Wootten says with all registrations now in, almost 25,000 (24,905) athletes will compete at WMG2017, with the number of registered supporters and officials taking total participation to 28,571.

“We are thrilled at the result and the overall response from master athletes here in New Zealand and around the world. This event is about bringing the world together ‘for the love of sport’ and these participation numbers bode well for a fantastic 10-day festival of sport,” Ms Wootten says.

The athletes will compete across 28 sports (45 disciplines) at 46 venues throughout the Auckland region and two in the Waikato.

Basketball, softball and football are the sports with the most teams while athletics, orienteering and swimming have attracted the largest number of individual competitors.

“The World Masters Games is a unique event and Aucklanders are in for a treat, with plenty of opportunities to be involved even if they are not competing,” Ms Wootten says.

Around 75% of Games participants will hail from outside of the host city and Ms Wootten is calling for Aucklanders to give them a warm welcome.

“Being great hosts and making visitors feel welcome creates a lasting impression that is great for our global reputation. It’s something the city did brilliantly during Rugby World Cup 2011. Thousands of visitors went home raving about their experiences in our city and country. We’re hoping the same will be true of WMG2017.”

Opening Ceremony
The Games kick off with an Opening Ceremony at Eden Park produced by world renowned Inside Out Productions. Primary event producer Mike Mizrahi is promising the largest laser light show ever seen in New Zealand, unique cultural elements and a few surprises.

Ms Wootten says Eden Park will be buzzing during the ceremony which is for registered participants only, and will not be open to the public.

The Opening Ceremony will feature the traditional parade of athletes who will march with their sport rather than their country. This is due to the fact that athletes are not selected to represent their country.

A participant for each sport has been chosen to lead the athletes on the parade, with the standard bearers representing all ages and levels of ability from former Olympians to weekend warriors.

Queens Wharf
Ms Wootten says the public are an important part of WMG2017 and the Queens Wharf Entertainment Hub is the place for Games participants and Aucklanders to get together and mingle, from April 22-30.

“Another of the unique attractions of World Masters Games is the social side of the event, and there is a great history of lifelong friendships being formed at previous Games,” she says.

“As the host city in 2017, Auckland is embracing that tradition and laying on a feast of culture, performance, music and food at Queens Wharf.”

Admission to the Entertainment Hub is free and it’s open to the public, though a few events are reserved for registered participants only. A detailed programme has just been released and is now available at www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz.

Highlights include Toi Ora, a living gallery, in The Cloud to showcase traditional Māori arts and culture. There will be music and entertainment day and night featuring, amongst others, Tami Neilson, Will Crummer and the Rarotongans (featuring Annie Crummer), Motor City Family Funk, The Warratahs, and LatinAotearoa.

The wharf will also feature the best of New Zealand’s cuisine and beverages, from the likes of Good George Brewing, Villa Maria and The Kitchen c/o SKYCITY. There is also a daily sports wrap from the Games at 7pm and the Barfoot & Thompson Kids’ Fun Zone.

“With the school holidays on, the Entertainment Hub is a great option for families and a prime opportunity for Aucklanders to be a part of the Games, so I would encourage everybody to check out the programme and make a plan,” Ms Wootten says.

There is also no charge for admission to any of the Games 48 competition venues and spectators are welcome, though entry is subject to venue capacity and registered participants will be given priority.

For more information please visit www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz.

Ends

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